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Alice A. Martin, 61, of Elkhart, Indiana, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Dec. 10 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Martin was born March 16, 1956 in Carlock, Illinois, to the late John Alfred and Alice Ann (Dohrs) Stauffer. A graduate of Bloomington Normal High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in education and psychology with high honors from Eastern Illinois University and her MBA from the University of Illinois. She began her career at the Continental Illinois Bank where she served as a banking officer from 1980 until 1984.
On May 12, 1984, Martin married Rex Martin at the First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart. She then joined her husband at NIBCO and served in a variety of positions, most recently as chief revenue officer, a position she has held since 2015. She was also on the board of directors since 2000 and served as the vice chairman of the board since 2002, lead director of the board from 2003-2005 and chief people officer from 2005-2015.
She is the loving wife of 33 years to Rex and the loving mother to two daughters: Ashley Martin and Alexis (Shawn) Martin-Klose, both of Elkhart. Also surviving are four brothers; John Stauffer, Paul (Marcia) Stauffer, David (Diane) Stauffer and Dan Stauffer, all of Bloomington, Illinois.
Martin served as the president and co-founder of the Rex and Alice A. Martin Foundation, a charitable foundation headquartered in Elkhart which donates to major projects for children. Celebrating its 16th year, the foundation has funded the NIBCO Water & Ice Park in downtown Elkhart, the Martin Skate Park I and Martin Skate Park II on the west and east sides of Elkhart, respectively. Additionally, the foundation has contributed significantly to the renovation of the Lerner Theatre and to the construction of Indiana University at South Bend facility, both in downtown Elkhart. Other projects include the purchase of the soon to be completed Children’s Garden at the Wellfield Botanical Gardens in Elkhart and, along with three other donors, the purchase of the Havilah Beardsley House on Main Street.
She served on more than 30 local, regional and state charitable boards of directors and has been honored many times for her leadership and philanthropy. Recently, she was honored by Premier Arts with the Arthur J. Decio Award and also by the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce with their 2012 Businesswoman of the Year Award. She has also received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award which is Indiana’s highest honor. Martin has also been named the Lewis S. Armstrong Award recipient for Business Acumen by Indiana University, South Bend. She has also received awards from the University of Illinois, WNIT Public Television, Rotary International, Lions Club International, the United Way and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Public Broadcasting honored her at their national convention with their National Leadership Award and the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate passed a joint resolution of commendation in her honor.
Martin served on the advisory board for Indiana University at South Bend and on the Advisory Board for the Business College at the University of Notre Dame. A champion of women’s rights, she also founded the Women’s Leadership Group at NIBCO. An avid global traveler, Martin was proud to have visited over 70 different countries. She was a huge patron of the arts and had an infectious laugh which often caused others to join her.